“How did it get so late so soon?”
You know you’re an old fart when, every time there is a 30-, 40- or 50-year anniversary of something, you’ve got a memory to go along with it. (The other clue is when, in remembering the last time you did something, you say “it’s been decades since …”).
I’m already two-thirds along that road, having reminisced about Nelson Mandela and Pete Seeger. So here’s my third and last entry along those lines–where I was when the Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan.
The memory is short and simple, but for some reason it’s also vivid. My father was a pilot for Trans World Airlines. Periodically, pilots would be tested on their skills and knowledge–sort of like driver’s license testing. On this particular Sunday evening, I was sitting on the couch reading test questions for my father. We stopped to watch the Sullivan show, during which the Beatles performed, as I recall, “She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah),” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
Mostly I remember Ed Sullivan’s discomfort with the young women screaming and crying in the audience. I think he was much more pleased with the Beatles than with Elvis Presley, whose gyrating hips had to be cut from the screen shot.
The staid television host was, however, happy with his guests, calling them “a group of fine youngsters (who) will leave an imprint on everyone over here who’s met them.”
The late George Harrison once said, “I’d like to think that all the old Beatles fans have grown up and they’ve got married and they’ve all got kids and they’re all more responsible, but they still have a space in their hearts for us.”
And so we do.